May 01, 2013 - Addison Township officials honored longtime Planning Commissioner, Bill Devine at the April 18 board meeting by making him an "Honorary Citizen of Addison Township" and giving him a "Key to the Township" and a plaque for his service to the community.
Bill Devine was honored with the key to Addison Township and a certificate of appreciation for his 15 years of service on that community’s planning commission. (click for larger version)
Devine resigned from the commission, not because he was tired of serving, but because he and his wife, Bernadette, were downsizing and moving to a condominium in Oxford Township. No longer an Addison resident, he would be unable to serve.
Supervisor Bruce Pearson said Devine had not only been an "intricate part the planning commission," but a "true friend" to him.
"When I came into office he mentored me in the sense he took me out to the other communities, the Rotary Club and he introduced me to all the other officials and the people that make things happen in this community. I had a very nice luncheon," he said. "That was the very beginning (of when) I looked at Bill as being a true friend."
"The one thing I've learned from Bill is patience," continued Pearson. "If there anything this job (as supervisor) needs, it is patience and he has been a person that taught me these things and it's made me a better person."
After retiring as an owner of a corporate real-estate service firm, Devine and his wife moved from Independence Township to Addison Township.
"We settled there because of the peaceful nature of the place," he said. "It's got a low density relative to development, lots tend to be good size, horses and things like that are very popular in Addison and it's just got that feel about it that makes you want to live there."
Upon his retirement and move to Addison, Devine decided it was time to get involved in public service so we went to former Addison Township Supervisor Bob Koski and asked how he could help with township business.
"Bob asked me if I would be a planning commissioner and I told him I would be very much interested in that," Devine said. "Since I have a background in real-estate, he thought it would make a nice fit."
Devine said between when he joined the commission 15 years ago and now, he's tried to "help Addison Township folks" anyway he can, which not only included being on the commission, but also becoming involved in the parks and helping with the relocation and restoration of the historic Arnold School House.
Devine also found a way to serve others outside of Addison. "I introduced myself to Joe Mastromatteo,(current chairman of Orion Veterans Memorial) who was starting up the Orion War Memorial in Lake Orion," he said. "Again using some of my management skills in real-estate development I asked Joe if I could be any help to him and the other board members in getting this launched and on its way."
Devine said he was welcomed by both the board and Joe.
"I grabbed a hold of that project and was active as the project manager for several years," continued Devine. "As you can see now, it's a beautiful place, well representative of a wonderful community like Lake Orion."
As a retired navy captain who served during "the buildup to Vietnam" the memorial was something special and personal to Bill.
"I enjoyed that part of my life (being a navy captain) more than you can imagine," he said.
As for being recognized by the township, Bill in his humble way felt he didn't deserve it, but was appreciative regardless. "It's always nice to know there are folks around who appreciated my volunteer work," he said.
The "same giving spirit that goes with volunteering" is something that runs in the family, noted Bill
"My wife also has that spirit. She does volunteer work and also is employed as a hospice nurse, which has an aspect of giving to it," he said. "We're (also) fortunate that we have (six) wonderful children who are caring and have some of their mother's positive characteristics in caring for others."
While Devine calls his days of volunteering "a wonderful journey," he's ready to go into full retirement.
"It's time to retire now from all kinds of work," he said. "It's time to maybe travel a little more with my wife and enjoy other parts of the world.
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.